TankrustIt’s always nice to get the lyrics, which I did when receiving this cd. I opened the booklet to be greeted with “Stay alive, you must fit in to survive, you must battle when you’re right, you must GROW SOME BALLS”. And balls is what this album from the French band has aplenty. This fighting talk is communicated in a hardcore in-your-face way but this is more than a work of hardcore. “DMZ”, which opens up the whirlwind is born of brutal death metal with melodic as well as those hardcore elements. It bowls or rather growls along at a fair pace. The harsh and vigorous riffage, which would lend itself to a live performance, is replicated on the equally lively stop-start “Draw the Line”.

The thrashy start of “Autonomy”, fired on by is rapid drum triggers, gives rise to another explosive track. Hardcore can sometimes have the air of immaturity but here it’s built into the invigorating riff and atmosphere. “Improvisation 28”, which follows, combines a menacing tone with its wavy rhythm and thunderous heaviness. The reason this all works so well is the care and attention the band, whose members come from different metal origins, put into the structure of the songs. There’s lots happening with the brutal death, fast and furious drumming, breakdowns and relentless intensity. “Dead Pools” has the same vigour, eventually breaking down into an anthemic chorus. One minor criticism I would have is that the tracks, which typically fall short of four minutes, could be extended and blast us out of the sky, but this is not Tankrust’s way. There’s never a shortage of excitement. The drums and crunchy riffs are prominent and here and there, a solo will appear. The movement is fluid and unstoppable, and it’s all the more noticeable when space is given to a Heights-style hardcore chorus, as on “Barbarians”. “Grown Some Balls” is hardcore brutality itself, expanding explosively and melodically before stopping within the four minute cut-off as if it is some sort of contractual obligation. The album finishes with “Cleaver”, a brutally deep and dark march which expands technically and anarchically and provides an intriguing end.

“The Fast of Solace” draws on the strengths of the brutal death, thrash and hardcore genres. It has all the intensity of a live performance. Its band members deserve credit for the exciting structures and electrifying songs. It’s full of interest. This is a very accomplished work.

(8/10 Andrew Doherty)